Harmonic Spheres (MTH4130.01)

Nicholas Brooke

Composers and improvisers periodically reinvent the wheel, creating systems of scales and tunings, instruments, and even philosophies of harmony and rhythm. In this course, we’ll also explore how to invent your own systems. Beginning with tuning, students will build an acoustic or virtual instrument based on their own temperament. We will then explore harmonic systems that ground the work of Bartók, Messiaen, and Partch as well as later 20th century music. We’ll look at concepts of raga and tala, and Javanese concepts of pathet, as well as a broad range of rhythmic and harmonic systems from across the world. Students will be expected to do advanced harmonic analysis, master readings, and create original work.


Learning Outcomes:
Learn about music theory across style and culture
Compose with given restrictions
Analyze and become fluent with score notation
Read philosophical and analytical writing about music.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor: nbrooke@bennington.edu. Some previous work with notation.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Theory
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